I came up with this sauce as a nut-free alternative to the delicious creamy sauces you can make with soaked cashew nuts. As well as being a versatile sauce you can serve to friends with nut allergies (and everyone else!), sunflower seeds are cheaper than cashews (often less than a quarter of the price of cashews) and also a rich source of vital nutrients including vitamin E, magnesium, selenium, copper and B vitamins.
A word of warning: some of the supermarkets seem to have noticed the popularity of seeds and have started only stocking them in smaller packets for higher prices (they think we won’t notice because they are still comparatively cheap next to nuts). You can dodge this scam by buying in bulk online or at a local health food store: at the shop near me you can get 500g for £1.25 compared to 150g for £1.10 in Tesco (or you can buy in greater amounts for even less).
- 1 cup/150g sunflower seeds (soaked overnight or, in a pinch, boiled for 15 minutes)
- 2 cups/500ml water
- 3 Tbsp tamari (or sub soy sauce)
- ½ tsp ground turmeric
- 2 Tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1 tsp apple cider vinegar (or sub lemon juice)
- 1 tsp garlic powder (or sub 2 peeled cloves)
- 1 head of cauliflower (2-3 cups)
- Steam the cauliflower until very soft. Set aside.
- Drain and rinse the sunflower seeds with fresh water.
- Place the seeds in a blender with the 2 cups of water and blend until combined.
- Add the remaining ingredients except the cauliflower and continue blending until very smooth. The mixture should now taste deliciously cheesy but be quite thin.
- Add the cauliflower and blend again to combine. Adjust the flavourings to taste.
- Serve stirred into pasta, vegetables or sliced potatoes. My current favourite is with pasta, spinach and artichoke, topped with (gluten-free) breadcrumbs and baked!